Michelle Smiles

Teaching my children to question authority, except mine.

Let’s talk turkey


No, not Thanksgiving…Andrea suggested a conversation about foods your babies love. Some of us feel like we stick our kids in food ruts and would like to offer up some new foods but our mommy brains aren’t kicking out any good ideas. So let’s use the comments to hear some good ideas for feeding our little ones. I would love to hear Samantha’s ideas – I know her ideas will be healthy. I have a feeling Mama K might have some interesting things to add too. (She also has a new online store where she has tracked down non-toxic toys that are safe for our kiddos. Go check it out!)

Let me start things off. This is by no means an exhaustive list of things Sabrina eats…but you have to start somewhere.

Breakfast: fresh fruit (banana, peach, kiwi, apple, berries, etc), whole grain toast or whole grain toaster waffle, scrambled egg – sometimes with diced tomato or ham or turkey and cheese in it

Lunch & Dinner are usually vegetables and proteins with a starch thrown in. Her favorite veggies right now are zucchini, squash, carrots, green beans, peas, and beets. Proteins are usually whole black beans, garbanzo beans, turkey, ham, or chicken. Starch is usually whole grain bread but occasionally pasta or rice or sweet potato.

Snacks tend to be fruits and fats. I’ll give her mandarin oranges, applesauce, or dried fruits (cranberries, blueberries, raisins, apricots, etc) and some cheese or something along those lines. I’ll throw in some Gerber Puffs (girl loves her some puffs) or some goldfish.

And yes, she loves the occasional treat – a few sips of a milkshake, some ice cream, a little pudding. But these items are treats and not part of her normal menu. Man, I should eat as healthy as my child!

In the comments, give us some ideas of different foods your child likes. Sometimes we forget simple items and other times we don’t look outside our own menus so we forget things that our children might like.

posted under food
29 Comments to

“Let’s talk turkey”

  1. On November 18th, 2007 at 7:22 am carla Says:

    veggie hotdogs.
    I cut em in slices and then in halfmoons and site a pretzel stick in em like a toothpick and hand them off to her!

  2. On November 18th, 2007 at 8:07 am Kim Says:

    Let’s see – I KNOW that we are in a rut with Alex.

    Breakfast – Gerber Cereal Bars (these are usually on daycare day as he can eat them in the car), yogurt (any kind – he likes all flavors), fruit (bannanas, blueberries, blackberries, etc.), waffles

    Lunch – Fruit (again – he loves his fruit!!), cheese, turkey or ham, Lil Crunchers!

    Dinner – We try to feed him what we are eating, but we aren’t really successful with that. Pasta (if you put pasta sauce on just about anything, he will eat it), Egg Rolls (just the insides – this was the item that broke our protein strike), eggs (sometimes, he doesn’t always eat them)

    It’s hard for me to come up with other items as he hasn’t eaten this week since he’s been sick.

    We also give him Naked Juice – he loves it! The protein one is really good since he doesn’t do protein very well.

    We’ve also been creating vegetable purees and adding them to the foods he likes. For example, he really likes mashed potatoes. We add a califlower puree to the mashed potatoes and he doesn’t notice it at all.

    I know that Alex doesn’t eat as well as he should, so I’m looking forward to seeing what people suggest.

  3. On November 18th, 2007 at 9:52 am Amy Says:

    Emily loves yogurt – mostly the Yoplait custard style. You would not believe the flavors out there (strawberries and cream, rasberry cheesecake, carmel, etc.)

    String cheese – they have Kid Builder string cheese that is fortified with Calcium and protein.

    Strawberry Applesauce – she would eat this at every meal if I let her.

    Grilled cheese sandwiches.

    Veggies burgers – I know, I know but I’m telling ya full of protein, low on fat. Yum Yum.

    This one I do not understand, even if I wasn’t a vegetarian, but the girl loves her some trail bologna. I do not know how I even discovered this but she loves cut up trail bologna and cheese. I think my husband worked on her when I wasn’t around.

    Soup with alot of the broth drained off – her faves are minnestrone, chicken noodle, wedding soup, and any kind of chicken vegetable.

    Sometimes when I am desperate I cut her luch sandwiches into shapes with cookie cutters – stars, hearts, XMas trees, etc.

    Veggie lasagna – When I am lazy, stouffers has a very good frozen veggie lasagna that you pop in the oven. It is actually very good.

    Crockpot stews are a big hit.

    Snacks are: all friut esp. pears, apples, and mandarin oranges, pretzel sticks, or peanut butter to dip apples in for protein; fruit and yogurt cereal bars; cold veggies sometimes with Ranch for dipping esp. cauliflower, carrots, cucumbers; cottage cheese sometimes with fruit mixed in like pineapple or strawberries; raisins.

    That’s all I have for now. She knows what she likes and she asks for what she wants. So as long as it is reasonable and I have it, here you go.

  4. On November 18th, 2007 at 11:25 am Bobbi Says:

    WOW! I like these ideas. Reese looks at veggies as if they are poison. He is big on oatmeal. I use the Kashi apple cinnamon. It is very yummy!!

    He also loves yogurt bars, but isn’t too fond of yogurt. He loves fruit–pears in any form are always a hit.

    Sabrina eats very well. You do great. Thanks for the ideas–yours and in the comments.

  5. On November 18th, 2007 at 11:59 am Priscilla Says:

    Hmmm…I think all of our faves have been covered (even Veggie Burgers!!) except Triscuits. We have a love affair with Triscuits. Very handy when on the go, too, as they don’t crumble easily.

    Oh, and chicken. Rotisserie chicken is huge around here.

    I have a question…how much milk does your little one drink? M drinks two big sippy cups a day, on average. Too much? Not enough??

  6. On November 18th, 2007 at 12:14 pm carla Says:

    checking back in to read other people’s thoughts.

    we are so weird here.

    emma? she HEARTS hard boiled egg whites.

  7. On November 18th, 2007 at 12:53 pm Deb Says:

    Little Bug loves Pizza- with anything on it- so this is how I get his veggies into him. He also likes cheese bread sticks- he likes any carb really and truely.

    Breakfast: yogurt or a nutrigrain bar or eggs or turkey and cheese tortilla.
    Lunch: whatever my sister feeds him- although it seems to be turkey/cheese sandwiches and french fries.
    Dinner: any veggie covered in cheese sauce- another way to sneak them in. Peas (an entire box by himself), corn (same thing as peas). Beef stew and fianlly our latest favorite- tomato soup and grilled cheese.
    Snacks: any fruit- the fresher the better.
    drinks: white milk, chocolate milk, apple juice and water.
    He will not eat PASTA, rejects sweets other than ice cream and loathes anything in his eggs. He will not eat hamburger or hot dogs or anything that resembles them. He has started putting yogurt on any bread item (think pancakes and tortillas- yuck).

    I am hoping that as he nears 3 years old, we might expand our food choices to more homegrown veggies and some pasta since Momma loves those best.

    I long for the days from visit trips in Guatemala where he ate anything put in front of him- so much easier than dealing with a talking 2 year old who is pretty specific about his food choices.

    Love to you,
    Deb AKA Momma Bug

  8. On November 18th, 2007 at 2:30 pm mama k Says:

    Thanks for the linky love!!!

    Great topic. As much as I love nutrition and getting creative with food, I get stuck in a rut sometimes too. It’s just to easy to stick with what you know the kid likes instead of making something new only to find it tossed on the floor.. am I right ladies? 🙂

    All that being said, Peanut does eat pretty well. His favorite foods are black beans, bananas, cheddar cheese, and those crazy Gerber puffs. We also do fresh fruits, sweet potato fries (baked), chili, “healthy” cereals like Puffins, scrambled eggs, peas/carrots/corn (you can get the frozen, organic mix and just keep it in your freezer for a quick healthy snack), plain yogurt mixed with applesauce, Ezekeal (hearty, sprouted grain bread) cinnamon raisin toast, whole wheat pasta with parm and olive oil. He prefers finger foods that he can feed himself.
    He also does rice and beans, pad thai and other ethnic foods if that’s what DH and I are eating.

    On occasion he’s had some french fries, chicken nuggets or a taste of ice cream. I try to keep the junk food out of the house… but mostly that’s self preservation. I can put a serious hurtin’ on anything chocolate.

  9. On November 18th, 2007 at 3:08 pm Ashley Says:

    Eliza loves oatmeal and cream of wheat for breakfast… she also loves for me to freeze the Go-gurt yogurt tubes ( I am sure they are not as healthy) then I take Kitchen scissors and cut it into little bites for her that she can pick up… perfect for those teeth coming in.

    Lunch and dinner are nothing out of the norm, she eats whatever we do, and she love italian so anything noodle is grand. Thankfully, she is also a veggie lover, and I could cook her any kind of bean and put it on her plate and she would think she won the lottery!!!

  10. On November 18th, 2007 at 3:19 pm Ashley Says:

    I will add… I have also been trying Deceptively Delicious for my older boys… I have been sneaking Butternut squash and Carrots and yellow squash into some of my dishes Like just into the meat with meatloaf and sauce with spaghetti… they have not noticed at all.

  11. On November 18th, 2007 at 4:35 pm Tera Says:

    Hmmmm…Ezekiel bread is way grubbin’…I highly recommend it.

    You know that Emma is fairly finicky and she needs high calorie and full fat…

    Breakfast here is fruit and yogurt…YOBABY…the full fat kind, not the lowfat “kids” version…and sometimes some Multigrain Cheerios.

    Lunch and dinners… The main course is usually: full fat cheese melted on bread (cheddar or deluxe American), two cheese courses (American and then shredded cheddar or mozzarella), protein pancakes with a cheese course, chicken with cheese on the side or cheeseburger. She will eat some pizza. If Emma rejects the aforementioned main courses, cream cheese on healthy bread will usually fly. I serve the main courses with a veggie and/or a fruit sometimes followed by Gerber Puffs (I call them catnip for babies) or Multigrain Cheerios. Her fave veggies by far are diced sweet potatoes right out of a can and carrots. She does seem to enjoy diced potato with cheese melted on top.

    I feel as though we are always in a rut…because Emma will only eat certain foods. God bless.

  12. On November 18th, 2007 at 4:38 pm Tera Says:

    About the milk question… I think that toddlers are supposed to have between 16 and 24 ounces per day.

    God bless, Tera

  13. On November 18th, 2007 at 5:01 pm Andrea Says:

    WOw, thanks Michelle! This is perfect. I am going to keep checking back today to see other ideas. I’ve already gotten a few good ideas already.

    Thank you everyone!

  14. On November 18th, 2007 at 10:06 pm Debra Says:

    Alexis is a pretty good eater and will try most things that we give her but we try to eat as a family the same meal. But breakfast and lunch are tougher. On Friday I made grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch and she loved dipping her sandwich & fingers in the soup. So she ended up eating more soup than sandwich. So today I tried some Gerber Graduates chicken & carrot ravoli for lunch she hated them so I poured some tomato soup on them, so that was good for a few bites but I ended making her PBJ. Which even got dipped in the soup along with the goldfish and apple wedges. It made me gag but she was eating it so who am I to complain.

    I will still say her favorite food is black beans and guacamole. But she will also eat Greek, Chinese and sushi. But my biggest struggle is breakfast since I am not a breakfast eater. But we manage with cheerios, oatmeal, grits, cream of wheat, sausage links & yogurt.

    Love getting new ideas from other moms.

  15. On November 18th, 2007 at 10:14 pm Tina Says:

    For breakfast I’ll make Toby a smoothie. He loves it. It’s one cup whole milk, one cup vanilla yogurt, a banana, another fruit such as strawberries or pineapple, and one third a cup of fortified whole grain infant cereal. Totally delicious, filling, and healthy!

  16. On November 18th, 2007 at 10:20 pm Samantha Says:

    Look, a link! I think it’s my first. 🙂 Muchas gracias.

    You’re right, it’s all healthy around here. Pitfall of counseling nutrition for a living.

    First, for us, there is no differentiation between types of foods for breakfast lunch and dinner, really. It always struck me as odd, “breakfast foods.” What’s up with that? So many more options if you can eat anything at any meal…

    At our house, we get dark green veggies (“green mix”) in every day, and a protein at at least 2 meals.
    Green mix in the blender is some combo of chard, kale, spinach, green beans, peas, and zucchini.
    Sometimes i mix the “green mix” with eggs and scramble them. Green eggs (Sam I Am, get it?), even older kids love it!

    Have you tried quinoa? It is a grain that is high in protein. You have to overcook it a bit for the wee ones, but it is great to mix with veggies or soup.

    Remember avocado. Great source of fat!

    Tahini sauce for dipping veggies. Sesame seeds are a good source of fat too. I mix tahini with water and sometimes a bit of lemon or vinegar. Delish for us and the little ones.

    We also add DHA/EPA (omega 3 oils) to all of Julian’s meals. DHA is a fat that is imperative for brain development. It occurs naturally in algae and animals that eat it. EPA is helpful for inflammation and heart protection, as well as mood. We should all be on it, really. Let me know if you want to know brands that are good.

    Re: milk, I always have to give a plug for ORGANIC. Here is a link you may like to read…http://www.organicconsumers.org/organic/seven052505.cfm

    That said, I always turn heads with my statement that milk isn’t a required nutrient, calcium is a required nutrient, and vitamin D is a required nutrient. If kids have any issues with allergies, ear infections, eczema, or any phlegm condition that is chronic, I suggest no dairy (gasp!) at all. Calcium and vit D can be supplemented, and are already added to most milk alternatives like rice milk, soy milk, almond milk, oat milk (what julian drinks) and hemp milk (seriously!)

    Hope that wasn’t too long winded Michelle! I’ve got lots of grown up recipes too if you want them.

  17. On November 18th, 2007 at 10:57 pm elle Says:

    The boy will eat nearly any food you put in front of him save anything labeled bean. This includes black beans, refried beans, white beans, or green beans. If you don’t tell him it’s a bean he won’t know, but definitely knows what a green bean is.

    In the veg category the child will eat: zucchini, carrots, peas, tomatoes (by the fistful), broccoli, onion (yes raw), celery, and any other veg you put in front of him save the green bean.

    In fruit, I have yet to exhaust all the possibilities, but he is a big fan of the fruit.

    Ok, maybe I should list what he won’t eat… anything labeled bean (did I mention that already?), and… well, that’s about it.

  18. On November 18th, 2007 at 11:03 pm starfish Says:

    *sigh* we’re in a picky stage now. But high on his list these days is oatmeal, kiwi, spinach, pasta and grilled cheese. Used to like chicken but now spits it out. Meatballs and meatloaf are okay depending on the day. I should try more beans.

    If you could put goldfish or cheerios in an IV for him, he would mainline them…

  19. On November 19th, 2007 at 1:29 am Rhonda Says:

    Love this topic as well. We do have an issue with an overactive gag reflex and acid reflex so not easy to get our almost 14 month old to eat alot of people food. Carbs do seem to be a favorite for both girls! Both love noodles and mac and cheese, rice, oatmeal, oatmeal little nuggets, cream of wheat, eggs and fried potatoes (sometimes with colby cheese melted) and pancakes and waffles. Younger daughter does enjoy peeled peaches and pears and our 3 year old loves fruit of all kind.

    For lunch we try numerous things and bread with butter goes well, fruit always works, grilled cheese and soup are a favorite! Our 3 year old loves lettuce. Both girls love yogurt. Older daughter love the cheese melted with tortilla’s.

    For dinner, we try to give them as much of what we’re eating as we can. Sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes are a favorite! Meat is still a struggle with our younger daughter so we do still supplement her with a jar of meat baby food.

    For snacks, both girls love the thick honey/wheat pretzels and especialy the tiny cheese grip its! Our older daughter really loves the miniature marshmallows. Our almost 14 month old loves the gerber puffs as so many others!

    Thanks everyone for the great ideas.

  20. On November 19th, 2007 at 2:12 pm Lori Says:

    I don’t feed my children! 🙂

    Just kidding!!

    I hope you guys have a wonderful Thanksgiving day!

  21. On November 19th, 2007 at 2:44 pm Kim Says:

    Well my two eat just about anything.
    Breakfast is usually fruit, yogart, cheerios, and milk. Alternatives are eggs, homemade pancakes, or oatmeal.
    Lunch is usually leftovers or chicken and a veggie and fruit. They love raisens (a fruit that I didn’t see mentioned). They also like grapes (I quarter them). A sweet potatoe idea is cutting it up bite size and cooking it in one of those new glad microwave bags. If I’m in a rush they might get a PB&J on whole wheat bread or a toasted cheese. If we’re our they like the gerber pasta.
    Dinner is what we’re eating normally. I’m thankful that my kids eat all meats, just about all veggies and all fruits.
    If they have an upset stomach sometimes they get whole wheat noodles for a meal.
    Snacks are usually fruit chesse or whole wheat bread. They get puffs once in a while too.

  22. On November 19th, 2007 at 3:43 pm Tessie Says:

    Fun comments. I’m always up for new ideas.

    The only thing I can think of to add is soup drained of liquid (even canned! I live on the edge!). AD only eats finger foods and won’t let us feed her anything, so at least she gets the veggies/meat this way and they are nice and soft too so I don’t have The Big One waiting for her to choke.

    We also do the Yo Baby drinkable yogurts.

  23. On November 19th, 2007 at 5:29 pm Alleen Says:

    hmmmm. not much to add to what everyone else says. One food that surprises me that Gabriella LOVES is salmon. I was shocked! Any kind of beans and zuchinni and squash are big favorites. The girl has yet to meet a fruit she doesn’t love. I have to hide that until I’m sure she won’t eat any more of the main meal.

    She pretty much eats whatever we eat for dinner. If she doesn’t like it, I supplement with turkey, cheese, veggies,etc.

    Daddy introduced her to ketchup and now she wants to dip everything in it. sigh……

  24. On November 19th, 2007 at 8:34 pm Priscilla Says:

    Ok, Samantha, let’s hear about the brands for DHA and other supplements!!

  25. On November 19th, 2007 at 10:44 pm Martha Says:

    My girl will be 2 in January and is starting to get a bit picky. She used to eat just about anything, but lately is turning down tomatoes, kiwi and chicken every other time.

    She eats most foods mentioned but her faves are oatmeal at breakfast, beef *gasp* anytime, and she recently has discovered chocolate cake. I haven’t really had her have ice cream yet, but we gave her her first sucker at the Veterans Day parade. Oh boy she loved that sucker!

    A couple of strange things she loves are hummous, and Pomegranate seeds (she has loved these since last season when she was 10 mos old!)

    Great topic!

  26. On November 20th, 2007 at 12:54 am Samantha Says:

    The 3 I know are good quality that are available mass market are enzymatic therapies- eskimo kids, nordic naturals- children’s DHA or omega 3-6-9 junior, and there is a gel product that is good quality called coromega. You have to be really careful with supplements in general because there is no one out there regulating the supplement industry. I’ve worked for a number of the mass market companies and they vary dramatically from brand to brand re: quality.

    Just for fun, for adults: fish oil from the same brands: enzymatic therapy, nordic naturals i think are best. For general supplements a few good brands include eclectic, natural factors, enzymatic therapies, vitanica and wise woman herbals. There are lots of others, these are just a few I know about the quality control…

    Note: I do not work for any supplement companies at this time. 🙂

  27. On November 20th, 2007 at 2:19 pm Kim Says:

    About the milk question. My ped wants my kids to get 16 oz a day.

    Question for all of you who feed beans. How do you prepare them? Do they just eat beans plain or cooked a certain way?

  28. On November 22nd, 2007 at 12:44 am Meena Says:

    Serena has liked everything I put on her plate………..until last week. I’m hoping this is just a quick phase she is going through.

    Breakfast-cheese omlette, baby cereal with any fruit, mini pancakes or waffles with cinnamon apple sauce, cottage cheese, she loves yogurt and would eat it at every meal if she could, string cheese cut into slices with fruit, bananas, apples, pears, grapes or blue berries.

    Lunch-Gerber toddler meals (easy for daycare and doesn’t need refridgeration), leftovers from the night before, ham and cheese in a mini pita melted, grilled cheese, spagetti and turkey meat balls, chicken broth with small noodles chicken and carrots.

    Dinner-Whatever I eat usually or quesedillas, any chicken or turkey, sometimes beef, any pasta she says “mmmmmmm”, roasted veggies are good sliced thin. I’ve been making quick stews for her. Gravy and veggies from last nights meal, add cut up potato smiles, precooked chicken strips and it’s delicious!

    Snacks-fruit, Gerber fruit bars, gold fish, banana cookies (she loves them) yogurt, cottage cheese, any cheese, graham crackers.

    I don’t give her junk like chips, cakes, or icecream unless we are at a party. Then she can have a little icecream or cake. So far no chips or anything like that. I don’t see the point of it. Others will be giving it to her soon enough. Great idea Michelle!

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